Who is the actor who plays Oh Il-Nam, player 001, in the K-Drama
Korean drama Netflix Squid game received immense critical praise and maintained its number one spot on the platform’s most-watched list. Part of the success of the K-drama lies in its main characters and their storylines. Intertwined in the gritty survival game is an elderly character named Oh Il-Nam, played by actor Oh Yeong-Su.
At the start of the drama, Il-Nam captured the hearts of viewers as an older man with nothing else to lose, dying of a brain tumor. Viewers didn’t expect the character to cheat on them in a big way. Who is the actor who embodies Il-Nam? South Koreans or fans of Korean entertainment will recognize the actor in some minor roles.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers about Squid Game.]
Il-Nam isn’t the frail, kind character fans thought in ‘Squid Game’
Squid game had a lot of twists and turns and Easter eggs to deal with. Along with the mind-boggling way childhood games were turned into heart-wrenching and deadly elimination challenges, one character shocked fans. Il-Nam appears to be the weak link due to his old age. He reveals to Seong Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-Jae) that he entered the game because he has nothing to lose. Il-Nam was diagnosed with a brain tumor and could use the money while revisiting his childhood.
As the K-drama progressed, Il-Nam had some wise words of wisdom that proved to be helpful in leveling up the Games. Gi-Hun develops a bond with Il-Nam and becomes his helper despite the risk of losing. During the marbles game, Il-Nam remembers that the setting is a replica of his childhood neighborhood. In the end, Il-Nam sacrifices his last ball to let Gi-Hun win.
Gi-Hun believed that Il-Nam was eliminated. At the end of Squid game, Gi-Hun finds Il-Nam. Historically, Il-Nam has been one of the founders of the Game. He joined after years of observation because he wanted to have fun for a change before his impending death. The once-nice older man is becoming the most hated character, and there were clues to his true identity from the start.
Oh Yeong-Su has been a theater actor since 1987
RELATED: ‘Squid Game’: Did Netflix’s K-Drama Plagiarize A Japanese Movie?
Oh Yeong-Su sounds familiar to South Korean fans or fans of Korean entertainment. The 77-year-old actor has been with the company since 1967. Oh joined the Korea National Theater Company in 1987 until 2010. The actor has had a distinguished career in popular productions, from King Lear as the main character of The temptation like Prospero.
The actor’s most recent stage work dates back to 2017, where he again played the role of King Lear in the production of the same name. Besides acting, Oh has also appeared in some on-screen movies. In 2003, he played the role of one of the main characters, the master of the temple in A little monk. The film recounted the charming adventures of three monks of different ages.
In 2003, Oh’s last role on the big screen was in Spring, summer, fall, winter … and spring. The film was released by Sony Pictures in the United States, telling the story of a Buddhist monk at different stages of his life. Oh play the role of the old monk.
Oh Yeong-Su has played many roles on television as a monk
RELATED: ‘Squid Game’: 3 K-Dramas With Actor Lee Jung-Jae
Squid game gave its main cast a push to global stardom they never expected. Survival K-drama is Oh’s most critically acclaimed drama, starring him in a lead role. The actor has primarily played the role of a Buddhist monk in many K dramas and films during his career. In 2009, he played the monk Wol-Cheon in Queen Seondeok. According to Soompi, the historical drama K “reached a rating of 43.6%, making it into the top 10 most watched dramas and generating more than $ 50,000,000”.
That same year, Oh played Monk Yeol-Gong in Iljimae’s return. In 2012, the actor played a monk in God of the war with a long list of notable Korean actors. The cast list also includes Oh’s Squid game co-star Park Hae-Soo. The K-drama is based on the actual historical figure Kim Jun written in Goryeosa, the main surviving story of the Goryeo dynasty.